Weekend Wonders: Droplet - MOTSA - M.I.L.K. - Nouvelle Vague - Laughed the Boy - Brandt Brauer Frick

Droplet - Powerful Mind

Background promo - ‘Powerful Mind’ is the debut single by Melbourne’s newest and most elaborate electronic artist, Droplet. A track entirely about retrospect, ‘Powerful Mind’ attempts to empower listeners with messages of self-awareness and a complete acceptance of reality that alters one’s perception of themselves and others around the them.

“Before I started adding lyrics, the two words that kept floating in my head were resilience and perseverance, it was almost like a person in a boxing ring completely on their own, fighting someone that is invisible to others but so visible to them,” says the brainchild behind the project, singer-songwriter and producer Demi Papazoglou.

The talented Papazoglou paints a picture of a troubled past, interwoven with splashes of minimalist electronica and soaring vocals, evoking passion and drive from an artist that is committed to success. A change in tone from verse to chorus signals personal strength and assertiveness, that quite literally jumps out at listeners and demands attention.

With Droplet’s self-titled debut EP set for release in early 2017, the new single will cement Droplet as an ambitious and fierce newcomer with a project that proves through hard work and dedication, simply anything is possible. A string of live shows yet to be announced will follow up the release. “Powerful Mind” by Droplet will be released 14th of October 2016. Facebook here.

With a synthy beginning 'Powerful Mind' soon drifts into something quite special with the intriguing and soaring vocals of Droplet. They stand out even further with the understated musical accompaniment, what a debut!


MOTSA - Colours feat. David Österle.

Background - Following his last two EP releases on Southern Fried Records, half-Austrian/half-Russian artist producer MOTSA (real name Valerio Dittrich) has announced his forthcoming fourth EP 'Petricolour', due out 4th November on his own label imprint. In tandem with the announcement, MOTSA is previewing his first taster of the EP; the melodic and beautifully textured 'Colours', featuring David Österle. You can listen to the single via the link below, which premiered via tmrw magazine, who said "it’s immaculately produced, adhering to all the constructs of semi left field electronic dance music as well as being refreshingly simple and just a good, solid listen".

Now based out of his native Vienna, MOTSA immersed himself within UK bass/electronic culture whilst residing in Scotland, becoming a student to the sounds he uncovered and finding inspiration from his surroundings. Devoting hours of energy to his compositions, his aptitude for production has only grown exponentially in the past few years. Although initially inspired by what he heard while living in the United Kingdom, Valerio has not limited himself to solely become a pastiche of a scene for which he has fond memories, but has actively sought out sounds and textures from the vast spectrum of electronic music. This in turn has allowed him to create diverse and unique tracks, which all share a common quality with their bass led, beat driven, soulful and harmonic edge.

'Petricolour' EP is written about the decline of our western society; its beauty, wealth and our opportunities having reached a peak and the onset of gradual decay. This is reflected in the accompanying artwork; the flowers symbolising deterioration but retaining some beauty and hope. Throughout the EP, MOTSA incorporates organic textures and sounds recorded from nature and his surroundings. Facebook here.

'Colours' has so much going for it. A sensitive and wonderfully layered soundtrack and the smooth flowing vocals, glide and dance together with effortless beauty.


M.I.L.K. - U and Me.

Background - U And Me’ captures the signature sound of M.I.L.K. mastermind Emil Wilk, evoking the spirit of groove godfathers Curtis Mayfield and Shuggie Otis, alongside modern day contemporaries Jungle and Leisure. “With this track, I wanted to explore something a bit more danceable,” Wilk explains. “Not like dancefloor-explodor-danceable, but just something to soundtrack the stage of the party just before everyone starts dancing. So more like an ‘Oops Upside Your Head’ [The Gap Band] with lots of good times and head nodding than full on dance like ‘Rock With You’ [Michael Jackson].”

The track serves a synth-sensual successor to debut single ‘Following The Sun’ – an ode to summer love that had the likes of Indie Shuffle, The Line Of Best Fit, Clash and Hillydilly united in praise; culminating in a #4 Hype Machine hit. Not to mention multiple spins from Lauren Laverne at BBC Radio 6 Music and playlisting from some of Spotify’s finest.

It signals the release of M.I.L.K.’s forthcoming debut EP, promised before the year’s end, and follows a hefty festival season for the Copenhagen-based artist including Roskilde, by:Larm, Spot Festival and Trailerpark. He’s set to make his mark on the UK next month, with London live dates imminent. Facebook here.

'U and Me' has a classic sounding chorus line that is melodic and oh so catchy. What lays in between gives the song it's unique and funky edge, it's hardly surprising M.I.L.K. is already getting noticed.


Nouvelle Vague - I Could Be Happy.

Background - Nouvelle Vague’s bossa nova cover of the Altered Images new wave classic “I Could Be Happy” is the title track from Nouvelle Vague’s first full length LP of new music since 2010, due November 4 on Kwaidan Records / !K7.

After a several year hiatus, Nouvelle Vague’s founders—French producers Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux—return with their signature bossa nova reinterpretations of ‘80s and ‘90s punk, post-punk and new wave hits. I Could Be Happy also includes the pair’s first-ever original compositions featuring a variety of vocalists. The band is set to tour Europe through the end of 2016 in support of the new album, with North American dates coming in March, 2017.

Collin and Libaux started the unique project in 2004. The band employed a legion of female singers, many unknown until their performances with the band. Over the course of four records, the band sold more than one million albums worldwide including their self-titled 2004 album and 2006’s Bande A Part—which were released in the U.S. The band toured internationally including sold out shows at Royal Albert Hall in London, The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and Olympia in Paris. Bandcamp here.

Altered Images 'I Could Be Happy' has always been a favourite song of mine, so a cover version needs to be good. Nouvelle Vague’s bossa nova cover is a fantastic variation of the song, different enough so as not to crowd the original, and absolutely charming.


Laughed the Boy - Indifferent.

Background from the band - This song is the first track on our upcoming full length album scheduled to be released by the end of the year. It’s one of the first songs we started playing as a full band and really captures the garage-minimalist sound that will be prevalent on the album. Though bright and bouncy in melody, the song is a personal reflection on disenchantment in young adulthood.

Laughed the Boy began as my outlet for honest and unpretentious 90s nostalgia inspired songs After having more songs written than I knew what to do with, I brought my bedroom project to life when I went into the studio with my brother Sean to record their EP “Out of the Blue."

The two of us added our friend and bass player Brennan to the lineup and began playing the songs live. While rehearsing for shows,  we ended up with an album’s worth of fresh material and headed into the studio once again to record 9 new tracks that will make up our debut full length LP scheduled to be released by the end of 2016. Facebook here.

Full of fresh, bright indie vibes 'Indifferent' can only please. Theres even something of a Beach Boys surf feel to the song, and that can only be good in my opinion, play again material if ever there was.


Brandt Brauer Frick - You Can Buy My Love.

Background - Daniel Brandt, Jan Brauer, and Paul Frick have established themselves as an ensemble of classically-trained instrumentalists who make techno. Since 2008, this Berlin-based trio has been exploring dance music production using unorthodox combinations of instruments and compositional methods. They also have an illustrious career as live performers, playing a wide range of venues from festival to club to concert hall: Glastonbury, Coachella, Montreux Jazz, Lincoln Center, Mutek, Sonar, Southbank, Centre Pompidou, Fabric, Berghain, the Kölner Philharmonie, and many more. 

The genius of Brandt Brauer Frick lies in their ability to find ways to make almost any assemblage of instruments work and ‘werk’ as dance music. Their debut album, You Make Me Real (2010), was a compendium of compelling minimalist techno tracks made with acoustic instruments. Their sophomore album, Mr. Machine (2011), came out as a live album recorded with a ten-piece classical ensemble. With Miami (2013), they began to move away from the austerity of their first two albums and to strike out in a new direction towards something darker, funkier, and structurally complex. Through their previous releases and their early stage performances in formal suits, Brandt Brauer Frick gave the impression of a classical ‘new music’ ensemble making techno; but with Joy, they more closely resemble an experimental rock band.

If their previous album, Miami, tarried with darker moods and atmospheres, with Joy Brandt Brauer Frick explore a wider range of feelings, expressing euphoria through different intensities, textures, and forms. In keeping with this refusal of convention, they draw upon genres and styles that are not conventionally associated with joy: ‘krautrock’, punk, drum’n’bass, indie rock, new wave, and pretty much every other ‘-wave’ there was in the 80s. Lyrically, the album focuses on what the band-members describe as ‘post-religious’ themes—such as struggling to find joy in times of uncertainty and instability. To describe this album as Brandt Brauer Frick’s ‘Nietzsche album’ is hardly hyperbole.

With Canadian singer-poet Beaver Sheppard lending his voice, this album could also be dubbed Brandt Brauer Frick’s first vocalist-focused, song-centric album. Although their previous album, Miami, featured guest appearances by vocalists such as Gudrun Gut, Jamie Lidell, and Nina Kraviz on some of its tracks, Joy represents the ensemble’s first experience composing and recording a whole album with a vocalist. This collaborative project required a different compositional process: one that was less centralised and more dynamic. Rather than starting from instrumental ‘bed’ tracks upon which guest vocalists would record their contribution, the compositional process began with Beaver’s fragmentary lyrics and vocal lines. Brandt Brauer Frick would then begin to develop instrumental layers, and then the rough cuts would be traded back and forth between band and vocalist, often going through numerous revisions. According to the band members, the process was very intense, but also very productive. Brandt Brauer Frick - 'Joy' Street Date, October 28th, 2016, Because Music.

'You Can Buy My Love' gives a little insight into the 'out there' nature of Brandt Brauer Frick. The new album really is an eclectic and intriguing collection of ten songs. The album defies any one musical category, it is fascinating all the way through, and almost compulsive to dip back in to. It reminds me of the first time I heard Can's album 'Soon Over Babaluma' (many, many years ago), it didn't matter what the style, category or anything else was, I was hooked and amazed. I am really thankful music can still do that to me sometimes, wonderful.